By Sola Ogundipe
Majority of the European member states of the World Health Organisation, WHO, have voted to adopt a resolution condemning “Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine” and calling on the WHO to explore the possible relocation of its regional Office for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases outside Russia.
A total of 43 out of 50 member states with the right to vote agreed to adopt the resolution. It included a call to WHO Regional Director for Europe Dr Hans Kluge to consider the temporary suspension of all regional meetings in Russia, including technical meetings, conferences, and seminars, “until peaceful resolution of the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine is implemented and the Russian Federation withdraws its military forces from the territory of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.”9t also called on Kluge to transmit the resolution to the WHO director-general, and for it to be brought to the attention of the 75th World Health Assembly, which will hold its meetings from May 22 to 28.
“The secretariat will continue to do everything we can to protect … health in Ukraine. But there is one medicine that WHO cannot deliver, and that is peace,” noted Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organisation.
The resolution was adopted during a special session of WHO Regional Committee for Europe, which was requested by 43 WHO member states in a letter dated April 28.
The letter raised concerns about the health consequences within the European region caused by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, which member states described as an “unprovoked and unjustified invasion.”